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Insulation Options for Metal Building Construction

Posted on October 22, 2015 by Chelsey

When deciding what type of insulation is best for your metal building, you need to understand how insulation works and the types of insulation available. The Houston general contractor who is constructing your metal building can explain your options in detail if you cannot make the choice yourself.

In some areas where the climate is mild, insulation is not an absolute necessity. However, in and around Houston, it is a good idea to insulate any type of building. That is because the humidity can condense on the underside of the roof panels and drip onto the contents. Insulation cuts back on condensation by lowering the temperature. It forms a vapor barrier that reduces how much condensation forms on the steel panels.

Decreasing the temperature also lowers your power bills in summer and winter. In most cases, when you have a Houston build to suit metal structure, you will want to have it fully insulated. In addition to conserving energy, your metal building will be more comfortable if it is insulated.

Improperly installed insulation can trap mold inside a steel building’s walls. Proper maintenance is required to keep mold out of steel buildings. You should inspect the insulation regularly to discover possible insulation problems.

Insulation also deadens sound and can be used to brighten the interior of a building. Insulation with a white foil facing reflects light effectively. In some cases, black facing is used to keep a space dark, such as in a nightclub.

Metal buildings are durable, but they present challenges when choosing what type of insulation to use. There are several types, and they all have their own benefits in metal or steel buildings.

Types of insulation

  • Radiant barrier insulation is applied during the installation of your building. It is commonly recommended by a Houston general construction services company. Radiant barrier insulation transfers heat evenly. When it is installed between the frame and panels, the heat is effectively blocked from entering the building. It is resistant to mildew, fungi and mold, but it does permit a slight flow of air through the building.
  • Spray foam insulation works great in cold or very dusty climates. A Houston contractor can apply it while building the structure or after it has been built. It does not have a tendency to capture moisture the way fiberglass insulation will. It also seals the building from dust, rodents and insects. It consists of a foaming agent and polyurethane. It is sprayed onto the ceiling and walls. After it has been sprayed, it expands and forms a solid plastic barrier. It does not require caulking.
  • Loose-fill insulation can be blown into the building or dry packed. The loose fibers or pellets fill the corners more effectively and cut back on air leakage. It also works well for noise insulation. Cellulose fiber loose-fill insulation is made from chemically treated recycled newspapers that are flame retardant. Fiberglass or rock wool is also used, but cellulose fiber increases the insulating value by up to 30 percent.
  • Batt and blanket insulation is usually made from mineral fiber. It is the least expensive type. Some batt and blanket insulation comes with a radiant barrier backing, which is great for metal buildings. Blanket insulation is cut to the proper length, and batt insulation is available in lengths ranging from 25 to 100 feet long.
  • Rigid board insulation is made from polystyrene, polyurethane or fiberglass. It is cut to the required thickness, which increases its insulating effect.

Choosing the right type of insulation will protect your metal building from condensation, mold and pests. Ask your contractor what type of insulation would work best for your building.